Award-winning hockey mum at BBC SPOTY this weekend

Marcia Gurney-Champion of Spencer Hockey Club
This Sunday 15 December, Marcia Gurney-Champion of Spencer Hockey Club will represent our sport at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Marcia has already won BBC London's Sport Unsung Hero award, and is now aiming for the national award at Sunday's showpiece event in Aberdeen.

Her BBC London award recognises people who have made an amazing contribution to community sport in the capital.

Marcia runs Spencer Junior Hockey Club, with more than 550 players on its books. She has been integral in introducing free hockey coaching to local children who did not previously have the chance to play our sport. Then with a team of volunteers she co-founded Spencer Lynx, an outreach programme made up of 50 children from nearby state schools.

The youngsters are having a lot of fun and receiving top-quality coaching, helped in no small part by the fact that Marcia persuaded Great Britain Hockey player, and fellow Streatham resident, Rhys Smith, to get involved with the programme.

Rhys loved sport from an early age, which motivated him to apply for a bursary and sports scholarship to attend a secondary school in Croydon. There he was introduced to hockey, which was his springboard into professional sport. Marcia knew that Rhys would be the perfect inspirational figure for the Lynx members, and getting him involved has really put the icing on the cake.

Originally from Guyana, Marcia’s parents moved to Lambeth when she was four years old, and she has lived in the area ever since. Speaking about her award, she told the Sutton & Croydon Guardian, "It is all very surreal and still a bit unbelievable to think that this little old sports fanatic will be heading off to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards! But I am just a cog in this huge Spencer Juniors machine, so thank you to everyone else who has done what they do, to make this moment possible."

Junior Club Chairman, Tony Matharu added, "When I set up Spencer Juniors in 2002, with Lesley Gairns, there were insufficient children within any age group of either gender to have any attempt at a game. No-one could have imagined the speed and scale of growth of the junior membership and the size of the task Marcia now faces to keep it all going. I am particularly proud and grateful that she has managed to maintain the Spencer ethos of inclusivity and that, despite the continued focus on enjoyment and participation, the Club continually achieves County and now even National player recognition."